While surfing the web recently, I came across a very interesting map of Borneo Island, with the British Isles “embedded” in it to show just how vast Borneo is.
What amazes me is the fact that the map was drawn in the 19th century, an era where global positioning system and satellite navigation, not to mention Google Earth, were still light years away.
The map is included in a 1869 book titled The Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), a 19th century British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist.
Wallace wrote in the book that he dedicated The Malay Archipelago to Charles Darwin, the author of The Origin of Species.
He said the book was “not only as a token of personal esteem and friendship (with Darwin) but also to express my deep admiration for his genius and his works.”
The book also has many interesting hand-drawn illustrations depicting the lives, people and the flora and fauna of Borneo and other islands in the Malay archipelago.
One of the many interesting drawings is about an orang utan attacking a group of Borneo natives. See all the unique illustrations and read all of Wallace’s adventures in The Malay Archipelago here, courtesy of Papua Web.